Friday, December 19, 2008

Don't stop to help says Cali Supreme Court

California Supreme Court allows good Samaritans to be sued for nonmedical care

The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a young woman who pulled a co-worker from a crashed vehicle isn't immune from civil liability because the care she rendered wasn't medical.

The divided high court appeared to signal that rescue efforts are the responsibility of trained professionals. It was also thought to be the first ruling by the court that someone who intervened in an accident in good faith could be sued.

Moral of the story is don't stop just keep going. Not only could you be sued for trying to help but they may just be trying to carjack you.

Both opinions have merit, "but I think the majority has better arguments," said Michael Shapiro, professor of constitutional and bioethics law at USC.

Shapiro said the majority was correct in interpreting that the Legislature meant to shield doctors and other healthcare professionals from being sued for injuries they cause despite acting with "reasonable care," as the law requires.

Noting that he would be reluctant himself to step in to aid a crash victim with potential spinal injuries, Shapiro said the court's message was that emergency care "should be left to medical professionals.

If it was meant to shield "professionals" then it wouldn't be called a Good Samaritan law. Well no shit that an ambulance chaser would be reluctant to offer aid other than a business card.

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